Get to know the Aurora Nutrio, an clever chopping board with an built-in meals sensor
These days I have to think a lot about putting a new piece of technology on my countertop.
It’s not that I don’t love kitchen technology. (Heck, I started an event on the topic.) The way it is, I ran out of work space a long time ago and my wife is just so patient for my expensive habit of buying new kitchen appliances.
That’s why I never made room for kitchen scales. Intellectually, I understand the arguments in favor of one thing: more accurate measurements, less clutter than a cluster of measuring cups and bowls, and a great way to keep track of calories and food intake. In the end, however, I still can’t see where I put it.
But what if I could combine it with a cutting board? And even better, what if I could use this new cutting board scale as a food inventory and tracking system too?
All of this is potentially possible with the Aurora Nutrio, a new smart cutting board introduced via Indiegogo. The device weighs and identifies raw foods, scans packaged foods, calculates nutritional information, and helps users keep track of food inventory and ingredients.
If you look at the cutting surface of the Nutrio, you will see that the actual board part of the cutting board is made of wood. The wooden board (or boards; the system has options for bamboo, beech or walnut boards and you can buy more than one board to use while cooking) is on a pedestal that houses all of the technology and sensors .
One of these sensors is a spectrometer. The spectrometer, the small circle in the upper left corner of the board, uses infrared light to scan the molecular properties of the food and give you the calorie and nutritional composition of the food.
In the following video from Nutrio Indiegogo you can see a demonstration of how a scan works:
The device also has a built-in camera for scanning packaged goods and a built-in NFC reader that can be used to track the food inventory using the NFC food labels provided.
Like many connected devices, Nutrio has a dedicated app that unlocks additional features, including the ability to log foods in a diary and access nutritional information on foods that you weigh and scan. In the Lighthouse app, you can also track the food stock using the associated NFC tagging system.
I have to admit, all of this technology sounds pretty neat. Not only would I get the scale that I want to disguise as a cutting board, but a complete system for tracking and managing food.
Even so, I still hesitate to pull the trigger for a few reasons.
The most obvious thing is that this is still just a prototype offered on Indiegogo. And as we are all too aware, super tech forward products like this have a really mixed track record of ever getting to market. Add that this product promises a number of features with rather complicated technology, and you have to wonder if the company will actually be able to accommodate all of those claims.
My second reason to hesitate is the price. The Nutrio is pricey, with an early bird price of over $ 400 on Indiegogo. That’s much higher than basic digital scales or even smart scales like the Renpho, which are $ 20 on Amazon these days.
The final concern is that this product is another proprietary system and app that is based on a subscription model to unlock all features. According to the campaign FAQ, the Pro edition of the system’s app will cost between 5 and 10 euros per month or around 6 to 12 US dollars after the first year. I don’t know about you, but it takes me a lot these days to get a credit card out for an app, let alone a cutting board and scales app (though the campaign promises to give lifetime access to the app if it hits $ 250,000) .
Even so, the Nutrio is still an interesting device that offers a fairly holistic approach to food tracking and management. I’ll keep an eye out for it, and if you want to follow suit (or buy one) you can find it here on Indiegogo.